Category Archives: Uncategorized

How the Music Can Free Her Whenever it Starts*

music-to-write-books-byYou’ve probably already guessed this about me, but I love music. My tastes are fairly eclectic, too. Among the many things I like about music is that it inspires me and resonates with me. It fuels my writing, too.

I’m honoured and excited that author and fellow blogger Sarah Ward has invited me to visit her blog, Crimepieces, as a part of her Music to Write Books By feature! Wanna know what’s playing in the background? Please come pay me a visit at Crimepieces, where I’ll be sharing some of the music that’s inspired my writing.

During your visit, do have a look around the blog. It’s a terrific resource for crime fiction from lots of different places, especially Nordic noir. You’ll also want to try her novels, In Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw. You won’t regret it!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to start the playlist…


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from the Lovin’ Spoonful’s Do You Believe in Magic?


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Warning! Contents are Toxic ;-)

poison-quizAt this time of year, there are plenty of delicious treats around. But they’re not all as safe as they seem. And that’s got me thinking about…






…a quiz! Oh, come on! You had to know there’d be a quiz sooner or later, so don’t complain!😉

Where would crime fiction be without poison and the people who use it? And as a dedicated crime fiction fan, you know all of your fictional cases of poisoning, don’t you? Or do you? Take this handy quiz and find out. Match each question with the correct answer, and see how many you get right.

Ready? Open that ‘medicine’ bottle to begin…if you dare!😉




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It’s the Blackjack Blog Scavenger Hunt!

blackjack-blog-scavenger-huntIf you’ve been kind enough to read this blog lately, then you may know that my newest Joel Williams mystery, Past Tense, will be coming out on 1 November. Now, a lot of authors like to do blog tours when they have a new novel coming out. I think that’s a terrific idea, and I’ve decided to do it, too.

But this won’t be a typical blog tour, where I visit different blogs. Instead, I thought it’d be fun to do a blog scavenger hunt, so you can perhaps visit some new blogs, and so that some talented and richly-deserving blog friends of mine can get the readership they deserve.

So here it is: Your own game of Blackjack! It’s the Blackjack Blog Scavenger Hunt!

Here’s how it works.

  • I’ll give you a list of 21 clues to a few of the various blogs on my rounds.

  • All you have to do is match the clue to the right blog. I promise: All of the correct answers can be found on the blog roll on my sidebar.

  • When you’ve got all of the answers, email me (margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com) your list of blog titles (just the titles will be fine). That’s your entry ticket. On release 3d-past-tenseday (1 November) I’ll draw three lucky names. Each winner will receive a signed copy of Past Tense (Here’s the blurb)! If you’re a winner, I’ll send you your prize no matter where you live.


Already pre-ordered the book? First, thank you! Second, you’re still welcome to play. If you win, that’s one name crossed off your holiday list.

Rather not play? That’s perfectly fine. But I really would appreciate your passing the word along on your social media. Thank you!


Ready?  Here are your clues:


  1. This blogger/author is usually busy ‘Chasing the Cozy Thrill’

  2. This bilingual blog frequently lets readers know: Esta entrada es bilingüe, so that whether you speak Spanish or English, you’ll understand.

  3. This blog’s logo comes straight from Poe. No wonder it features ‘Criminally Good Reads.’

  4. This blog uses tips of a particular kind of hat to rate books and films.

  5. This crime writer’s blog has ‘Murder Down to a Tea.’

  6. This Aussie blog logo includes a magnifying glass and a sketched-out map of Australia.

  7. This blog tells us that ‘Bitter hot tea is the perfect companion’ to a mystery.

  8. This blog includes ‘Reviews of books…and occasional other stuff’ – including Mr. Darcy.

  9. This blog offers ‘One reader’s view’ of books – and shares its name with a famous ancient royal.

  10. This blog is a place ‘Where Mystery Writers Talk Shop,’ and gets its name from the three keys to finding a suspect guilty.

  11. On this blog, Sundays are ‘Dress Down’ days. But of course, the blog’s focus is wardrobe-oriented…

  12. This blog features the beautiful Australian Galah bird. And that makes sense, since the blogger is an Aussie.

  13. Every day’s different on this blog, which features, ‘An Eclectic Mix of Books, Writing, Crafting, Green Living and Nature.’

  14. This blog has a great feature called ‘Logging the Library.’ And it’s a criminal log…

  15. This blog features a Maya Angelou quote that ends: ‘You’ve got to go out and kick a**.’

  16. This blog is ‘A place for my mind to gather its images.’

  17. This blog’s owner just had a new novel, A Deadly Thaw, released.

  18. This blog’s theme features prairie grass, a perfect choice for a blog that comes straight from a Canadian ‘prairie province.’

  19. This blog finds time for ‘Thinking, Writing, Thinking About Writing.’

  20. The logo on this India-based blog urges us, ‘When you write, don’t just write, tell a story.’

  21. This Aussie blog features all sorts of book reviews and recipes. Even its title includes a very nice wine.


Ready to play? Have fun!!  Tell ‘em all Margot sent you!


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Let’s Start at the Very Beginning*

writing-detailsI love writing, and I love being a writer. But in case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like, you should know that it doesn’t come magically. Even the most skilled musical artists do scales and arpeggios. They know that working on the basics helps make their music better. Those basics may not be thrilling, but they’re the underpinnings of good work.

It’s the same with writing. Skilled writers know that basics like paragraph structure, word choice, and punctuation matter. And yes, spelling counts. 😉  Don’t think those details are important? Think about the last book you read where you noticed problems with grammar, spelling, or paragraph structure. I’ll bet you weren’t drawn into the story. That aspect of writing might not be exciting to a lot of people, but it does matter.

Want to know more? I’m honoured and privileged to be a guest at Motive, Means and Opportunity today. Please come visit me there as I talk about the regular discipline behind good writing. I promise – no punctuation or usage quizzes.  😉

Have a look around the site, too. It’s a terrific collection of flash fiction, posts about writing, and lots more, hosted by some very talented writers.


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Do-Re-Mi.


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Crime Fiction News Break


Links You’ll Want

McIlvanney Prize/Bloody Scotland

Literary Salon with William Kent Krueger

CWA Gala Awards Dinner

Iceland Noir 

Dean Street Press


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